►◄ Reverse Zone


Reverse Zone, weblog on urban planning, sustainability, and technology.

Martin Laplante

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    Mon, 26 Mar 2007

    McJob in the Pickwickian Sense



    David Wilson wrote

    good on ya Martin, these McWankers need their peepees whacked eh?

    but seriously ... Climate Change is icummin' in eh? nothing to be done of course (wring wring), but it seems to me that there are one or two lateral, out-of-the-box initiatives that would help that are relatively easily accomplished, not to mention fun (to a select few):

    1. wasn't k-k-k-Canada famous (sometime past and again, only among a small circle) for the low-tech methane converters we took to India or someplace in the then third-world? convert sewage into cooking gas in a concrete tank? something like that - so how about an apartment-scale or city-block-scale methane plant that takes all that gravity fed sewage, plus whatever compost can get sorted out of the municipal garbage stream and dooooo something with it? for you in Ottawa maybe a steam-plant big enough to thaw a Tory brain (or at least fry it); in Brasil I guess methane chilled water would be a gooder, and elevated gardens covering the sidewalks (?) growing mangoes (?) the only thing standing in the way of it is that it is the word no one wants to say even when they are full of it, need some kind of buffer for those idiots who do the blue-flush thing ...

    and 2. municipal garbage - can we not mine this stuff for the plastic (oil), metal, and organic whatnot in it and make money? there is a woman on my street who goes about fossicking on garbage night to get 'latas' / beer cans, and presumably she wouldn't be doing it unless it did something good to her bottom line (which is not bad looking either if maybe a bit gritty) - she even sings while she does it! if we can have these huge excavators bigger than the Empire State Building raping northern Alberta, then why not a somewhat reduced version going through old land fills?

    what ever, be well Martin.

    ps: this comment interface is the shits eh? no preview (!?) - you should switch to Blogger, they at least have Labels now even if they only half-did them (like they half-do everything)

    Martin wrote

    There is definitely an opportunity here if it's done properly. Anaerobic composting of, um, wastes can work nicely if all the methane is recovered. CO2 is a greenhouse gas, but methane is many times worse. Let nature take its course and it can produce either CO2 or methane depending on conditions. If you capture and burn the methane, you produce CO2 but at least capture the energy. And if what is not converted is used as fertilizer, that's another batch of petroleum you save.

    On the other hand, the alternative for garbage and sewage is to turn them into carbon sinks. Put them underground in landfills or let them sink to the bottom of the estuary, and there are some carbon molecules that are taken out of the biosphere for a million years. Isn't burning them the same as burning fossil fuels? Garbage dumps are one of our best garbage sinks, after archives. Even leaving the trees in the forest is no good - the bugs just convert all of that cellulose into CO2 and methane again.

    Get a large corporation to host my blog? That's not self-publishing. The biggest feature of this comment interface plug-in is that it uses Wordpress Akismet to detect comment spam - solving a major headache for me.


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